I got booked for a pretty important speaking engagement this past Monday. It was at Doris Todd, a local Christian school here. They were having a spiritual emphasis week and wanted people from our base to come share about missions. It was my job to introduce the topic and give an overview of missions in general and what we do at YWAM Maui. I had about 45 minutes to fill and three videos to show the group of about 75 students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade.
My friend, Jill and I came prepared with candy. I know kids and they love candy. If we started to bomb, I knew our whole talk could be redeemed by simply throwing candy at them. The kids all began to file in and stare at us. Then an elderly lady on a piano led them in songs and pledges. They did the United States pledge and the Hawaiian pledge, which seemed perfectly normal to me since we pledged to the American flag and the Texas flag every morning when I was a teacher. Although the Texas pledge is in English, unlike the Hawaiian pledge, which is in Hawaiian. Maybe we Texans should come up with our own language. After the country and state pledges, we pledged to the Christian flag (didn't know such a thing existed) and to the Bible. Each pledge had a song to accompany it. It was quite a production.
After the pledges, it was our turn to talk. We had problems getting my laptop to work with the projector, so two of the male teachers transferred files from my computer to theirs to make it work. This meant I had to kill time. Luckily I have a lot of experience talking to children these ages. I asked if they knew what missionaries were and one of the kids had the right answer and was rewarded with candy. I then asked the kids to name famous missionaries and several of them had good answers. One of the kids said Jesus, which is somewhat accurate so I had to give him candy. Our base director's son was in there and he named his dad and Loren Cunningham as famous missionaries. It was really cute.
Then I asked the kids to tell me any foreign countries they'd been to. I don't think the Kindergarten students really understood what country meant since they answered things like, California, New York City, Washington and my personal favorite, Disneyworld! Finally we got one of the videos to work and we got them to pay attention by telling them that we'd have questions after that they could answer for candy. The video was a bit above their heads but they were able to answer our questions. Then I showed a powerpoint on China and let them ask questions. I was supposed to show a video on Borneo but it wouldn't play so we extended the question and answer period a bit. Their questions were pretty interesting. They seemed especially intrigued by the pictures in the slide show that showed my friends eating a scorpion.
Overall it was fun and made me miss being a teacher. I just love school and kids. Maybe they'll have me back for another speaking engagement.
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